HipHopWired Featured Video

Chicago rapper Common is rolling with Def Jam. Today (June 4), the storied label announced that the two-time Grammy winner and accomplished actor has signed to producer No I.D.’s Artium/Def Jam label. 

Common recently dropped “Kingdom,” featuring Vince Staples, the lead single from his forthcoming Nobody’s Smiling album. The album arrives 20 years since the release of the Chi-Town MC’s landmark album Resurrection, which was produced by No I.D., who is now Def Jam’s Executive VP of A&R.

“Common and I have a long history of making great music together,” said No I.D. via a press release. “His rich legacy and robust talent are perfect additions to the Def Jam family. It’s particularly significant that he’s coming under our roof for his 10th album as a matured artist and cultural ambassador. It’s a tremendous boost for the spirit of Def Jam as well as the world of hip-hop.”

Common’s last album, The Dreamer/The Believer, which featured an appearance from the late Maya Angelou, was released in late 2011. Nobody’s Smiling was reportedly inspired by his hometown.

“I’m honored to team up with No ID and be a part of the Artium and Def Jam family,” said Common via a press release. “Creating this album and signing to Def Jam feels like a new beginning for me. I feel like a new artist because I created this album with the purpose to give back to my city and to the culture of hip hop. Def Jam is part of the foundation of hip hop and being able to work with No ID was returning to my foundation now with new energy and new hunger.”

Nobody’s Smiling is due in stores June 22.

Photo: Def Jam Handout